Two very recent articles in Click Green and Professional Engineer indicate that Hinkley Point C is now officially mothballed. Indeed the project seems to be in its death throes. While some desk work appears to be continuing all major work on-site appears to have stopped and NNB Genco is so uncertain that the final investment decision will be positive it has asked ONR to stop as much work as possible to save money – even to the point of threatening its own status as a nuclear capable organisation.
No 2 Nuclear Power 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Organisations, especially those that are doing well, can easily get stuck on narrow views of the future and their own role within it. It can be useful and creative in those circumstances to give people the opportunity to think more widely. One method that I have seen used to great effect is to ask people to imagine the world in 10 years’ time and suggest what might have changed, particularly against the expectations of the conventional wisdom. The process can provide a useful counterweight to long-term forecasts, which tend to do no more than roll forward recent history. In that spirit, and for the holidays, here are a few stories on the energy sector from the FT in 2025. These are not forecasts – just possibilities. Readers would be welcome to suggest additions to the list. In the UK, Prime Minister Amber Rudd inaugurates the country’s first new nuclear power station for 50 years at Wylfa in North Wales. In her speech, she expresses optimism that work on the long-promised Hinkley Point nuclear station, which has been held up by technical and financial problems, will start by the end of the year.
FT 23rd Aug 2015 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
Scotland needs to shift a fifth of its spending on new buildings and transport towards backing for its targets of big cuts in carbon emissions, a new study has claimed. A report published by the Task Force on Low Carbon Infrastructure said less should be spent on projects that increase energy use. That could include new roads. The Scottish government said the report was a “valuable contribution” to shifting to a low-carbon economy. The report argues that it is better to build now for changed public choices and behaviour, travel patterns and energy efficiency standards rather than alter infrastructure when the changes have taken place. Compiled by the Green Alliance think tank, it says there are “critical weaknesses” in the way Scotland now spends. It says international comparisons suggest 72% of infrastructure spending in other countries is on projects designed to reduce carbon emissions, whereas that is thought to be 52% in Scotland. The report’s authors set a challenge to see that 20-point gap closed – a change for a fifth of infrastructure spending. The “Scotland’s Way Ahead” report pushes for further progress on renewable electricity, transport, housing and waste, but says the approach should also apply across health, schools, the digital economy, culture and justice. One of the main areas addressed is in local district heating of homes and other buildings. It argues for a more co-ordinated approach, rather than project-by-project.
BBC 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Times 24th Aug 2015 read more »
The decisions we make now will dictate how we travel, heat our homes and power our industries generations from now. With climate change a defining challenge of our times, we mus t call on the same leadership and ingenuity shown by our forebears to lay the foundations for Scotland’s transition to a thriving, low carbon nation. Missing the opportunity this transition presents risks locking us into high carbon infrastructure that will leave a legacy of buildings, transport networks and energy generation that either traps Scotland on an unsustainable path or commits us to an expensive bill for their replacement.
Herald 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Scotsman 24th Aug 2015 read more »
A REPORT exploring how Scotland’s engineering tradition can be harnessed to tackle fuel poverty, improve public health, create jobs and slash carbon emissions is launched today. The report, titled Scotland’s Way Ahead, found greater investment in low carbon infrastructure by both public and private sector must increase if the country is to meet its climate change targets. It found that investment into low carbon infrastructure could help the one million Scots households living in fuel poverty by improving energy efficiency. Investment in public transport and walking and cycling routes would help tackle ill health caused by physical inactivity and air pollution. The report, commissioned by the Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force, also found a low carbon economy could support up to 60,000 jobs by 2020.
The National 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
In an abandoned village where 15,839 people used to live, an unnerving silence prevails. The families have gone, their cars have been left to rust, and house roof tiles lie shattered on the pavement. Something terrible has taken place. Even though the power lines are still down above the deserted streets, a newly installed LED screen over the main road flashes up numbers: 3.741, 3.688, 3.551. They are radioactivity readings measured in microsieverts per hour, taken from Geiger counters in the ground below. The normal safe level of background radiation in the air for humans to live in is 0.2 microsieverts. Here in Tomioka, in the shadow of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, radiation is 19 times that. Recent photographs purporting to show mutant daisies near the plant went viral on Twitter. No wonder people are not coming back. Last week, London-based radioactivity expert Dr Ian Fairlie claimed that while 2,000 people have already died from the effects of evacuation and suicide, another 5,000 could develop cancer after exposure to radiation. A Greenpeace spokesman said: “The decontamination efforts are largely insufficient and ineffective. It is clear that radiation levels in Iitate are too high for a safe return of its residents.” The disaster has also been blamed for 80 suicides. Last year, a court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay £284,000 to relatives of a woman who killed herself after evacuation. The government has assured all evacuees they can return home by 2017. Yet authorities were recently forced to admit the clean-up operation at the plant could take 200 years. Recent scans of one reactor revealed nuclear fuel in the furnace had melted and dripped into the outer containment vessel. It is so radioactive humans cannot go near it.
Mirror 23rd Aug 2015 read more »